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Juneteenth Celebration & Mini-Symposium!

L-R: Nathan Smith, Felysha Jenkins, Antentor Hinton Jr.; Carlan Romney, Jessica Thomas; Kafond Wilder, Felysha Jenkins, Antentor Hinton Jr.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Basic Sciences hosted its inaugural “Juneteenth: A Freedom Celebration” event on June 15. 2022. The programming sought to inform the community about the history and meaning of the important date, which commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S., and highlight the accomplishments of Black scientists both at Vanderbilt and across the country. Felysha Jenkins, the diversity, equity and inclusion program manager for Basic Sciences, and Antentor Hinton Jr., assistant professor of molecular physiology and biophysics, organized the event.

Research talks were presented by Aileen Fernandez, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University; Brittany Taylor, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Florida; and Nathan Smith, the associate dean for equity and inclusion in research and research education and an associate professor of neuroscience at the University of Rochester. Carlan Romney, a master’s student at Fisk University, was recognized with the Vanderbilt Juneteenth Award for Lightning Talk–Best Graduate Student Abstract. Jessica Thomas, a postdoctoral fellow in Roger Colbran’s lab in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, won the Vanderbilt Juneteenth Award for Lightning Talk–Best Postdoctoral Fellow Abstract and Best Overall Abstract.

Read all about this event here, view all of the award winners, and see photos!